St. Louis Cardinals: Jhonny Peralta to DL with Respiratory Problem

The St. Louis Cardinals have placed their struggling third baseman on the disabled list.

On Thursday, Jenifer Langosch of reported that the St. Louis Cardinals had placed third baseman Jhonny Peralta on the disabled list with a respiratory illness. The Cardinals also announced that they had activated left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons in a corresponding move.

Peralta is now in the final year of a four-year, $52 million deal he signed after the 2013 season. During his first two seasons in St. Louis, Peralta was a very productive player for the Cardinals, hitting .269/.335/.427 (110 OPS+) with 38 home runs over 1,268 plate appearances.

Though he may not have had the best range or been overly fancy with the glove, Peralta was also a very sturdy defender early on in his tenure with the Cardinals. During those first two years, he ranked second among all qualified shortstops with a 7.4 fWAR, trailing only Brandon Crawford. He ranked 14th in the NL MVP voting in 2014 and was an All-Star in 2015.

Last season, Peralta suffered a thumb injury in spring training and was limited to only 82 games. His production noticeably dropped, as he hit .260/.307/.408 (90 OPS+) with only eight home runs.

Peralta has now made the move from shortstop to third base, which is something he had previously done with the Cleveland Indians before the Detroit Tigers made him a shortstop once again in 2010. He has had a very rough start to the season, slashing an anemic .120/.185/.120 over his first 27 plate appearances.

The Starting Third Baseman No Longer?

The Cardinals have other options at third base, so it will be interesting to see if Peralta can reclaim and hold down the starting job upon his return. Two of the Cardinals’ options include Jedd Gyorko, who is coming off of a 30-home run campaign, and the left-handed-hitting Greg Garcia. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch recently pointed out that Gyorko and Garcia have “leapfrogged Peralta for innings at third.”

The Cardinals also, of course, have Matt Carpenter who can play the hot corner. Manager Mike Matheny remains open to having Carpenter play a bit of third if it makes sense for the team, according to Goold. Carpenter is playing first base these days, but he was the Cardinals’ everyday third baseman as recently as 2015.

Soon to turn 35 years old, Peralta is in his 15th MLB season. He has played with the Indians, Tigers and Cardinals.

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